I know it's only February, but I've made some small, reusable drawstring gift bags ready for Christmas. My aim is to pace myself throughout the year, making at least one item for Christmas each month. Today's tutorial will show you how to make your own small gift bags.
Giveaway ~ assorted 2m lengths of vintage cotton Christmas ribbon from Sarah at Crafty Trimmings Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew link party where you can add your own Christmas makes for 2015
You can, of course, use Christmas fabric for your gift bags, or you can choose fabric the recipient might prefer to use throughout the year. I've used quilting cottons for all the bags in this post. The two above were made last Christmas; one to gift a child's watch and the other, some jewellery for a young lady. Thanks to Little Ladybird for the photo. Any fabric that's not too thick would work.
For the two you'll see in the tutorial, I chose to use fabric that looks Christmassy, without actually being Christmas fabric. Due to the flat bottom and their small size, they stand by themselves, even when empty as in this photo - no interfacing or batting needed.
Finished size of bag: 4.5" x 1" x 5" (11.5cm x 2.5cm x 13cm) (width x depth x height)
- 2 pieces 6" x 6" (15cm x 15cm) - main colour for the exterior
- 2 pieces 6" x 6" (15cm x 15cm) - contrast colour for the lining
- 2 lengths of cord 16" (41cm) - drawstring cords
All seams are ⅜" (1cm), unless otherwise indicated. I didn't need to use any pins for the sewing of this bag. If you find you need to pin the seams while sewing...
- baste (hand sew with a long stitch)
- remove pins
- stitch seam with machine
- remove basting
Sew the exterior:
- On both long sides measure and mark ¾" (2cm) from the top edge. Make a second mark ½" (1.3cm) below the first. This will be the opening for the drawstring casing. The width of the opening will depend on the width of the cord. If in doubt, make the opening larger rather than smaller.
- With right sides together, sew from the top edge to the first mark. Backstitch to secure.
- Backstitch as you start and sew from the second mark down the first side.
- Stop with the needle in the down position 3/8 inch (1cm) from the bottom edge.
- Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90º.
- Lower the presser foot and sew across the bottom, stopping with the needle in the down position 3/8 inch (1cm) from the side edge.
- Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90º.
- Lower the presser foot and sew the 2nd side up to the lower mark. Backstitch to secure.
- Backstitch as you start and sew from the next mark to the top.
- Press, or finger press, seams open.
- Neaten each side of the side seams separately by opening out the edges (pinking shears, zig zag). I wouldn't skip neatening the edges for this step, as it will prevent stray threads from coming out with the drawstring cord.
- Secure the drawstring opening, by sewing back and forth a couple of times at both ends of the opening.
- Stitch the seam on either side down. With steps 2 & 3, you are basically sewing a rectangle around the opening.
Make the box corner:
- Measure ½" (1.3cm) from the corner seam (don't measure from the edge of the fabric) in both directions.
- Put a mark to show where ½" (1.3cm) is. You will have two marks for each corner.
- Pull out the sides of your bag.
- Place one seam on top of the other seam.
- Put your pin through the top mark. If the pin comes out through the mark on the other side, your boxed corner will line up.
- If the pin is not coming out through the mark on the other side, reposition the fabric until it does.
- Remove the pin and hold in place.
- With a ruler, draw a line across the fabric.
- Sew across the line.
- Cut the fabric and neaten.
- Repeat for the other side.
|Step 1: Measure ½" from corners
|Step 5: check that the marks are lined up
|Step 6: check that the marks are lined up
|Step 8: draw a line to sew along
|Finished boxed corner.
Sew the lining:
- With right sides together sew each side seam, continuing around the bottom corners.
- Leave a gap of about 3" (8cm), in the middle of the bottom edge.
- Press, or finger press, the seams open.
- Neaten each side of the side seams separately (pinking shears, zig zag). Open the bottom seam and neaten separately, otherwise you will sew the opening shut.
- Make boxed corners as per the exterior.
Attach the lining to the exterior of the bag:
- Place the bag inside the lining. ie: the right side of the bag is next to the right side of the lining.
- Line up the top edges of the lining and the exterior.
- Sew the top edges of the lining and the exterior.
- Neaten the seam.
Turn the bag right side out:
- Put your fingers through the hole in the bottom of the lining.
- Gently pull the right side of the bag out through the lining.
- Edgestitch the gap in the lining closed, or you can hand stitch if you would prefer.
- Stitching through both the exterior and lining, sew around the bag, starting and ending at the top of the opening for the drawstring. This will be about ⅛" (3mm) from the top edge.
- Repeat step 1, starting and ending at the bottom of the opening for the drawstring. Line up the second row of stitching with the first row.
- Using a safety pin, thread the first cord through the entire drawstring casing. Both ends of the one cord will come out of the same opening.
- Repeat with the second cord and the second opening.
- Knot the ends of each cord.
The cords might be a little hard to pull the first couple of times. If you find this happens, just pull and loosen a couple of times.
That's it. You've finished! The tutorial is rather long, but sewing up a little drawstring bag is really quick and easy.
- a link party where everyone can add their Christmas makes
- guest hosts with a tutorial for a Christmas / holiday-themed gift or home decoration item
This month's giveaway prize is this lovely bundle of assorted 2m lengths of vintage cotton Christmas ribbon from Sarah at Crafty Trimmings -->>
Giveaway closed: The winner is Sally, from Wonky Patchwork, who entered her Robin Quilt.
Thanks to our lovely sponsors we also have random giveaways for some lucky linkers throughout this year too.
I'm looking forward to seeing the projects linked up. If you're new to Threading My Way, welcome.
Because of the drawstring cord, this bag is not suitable for children under 3 years of age.